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6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners #business #management #software


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6 Smart Budgeting Tips for Small Business Owners

If you run a small business, it s likely that you re operating on a relatively limited budget. Whether you bootstrapped your business or are trying to pay back loans you took out to cover your startup costs, it s in your best interest to conserve money wherever you can.

Without a thorough budget plan, however, it can be difficult to track and manage your finances. This is especially true for any unexpected business expenses that may come up, as they often do. A 2015 survey by small business credit provider Headway Capital found that although 57 percent of small business owners anticipated growth this year, nearly 19 percent were concerned about how unexpected expenses would impact their business.

If you want to keep your business operating in the black, you ll need to account for both fixed and unplanned costs, and then create and stick to a solid budget. Experts offered their advice for small business owners looking to keep their finances in order. [4 Tips for Reducing Startup Costs]

Define and understand your risks

Every business venture has a certain degree of risk involved, and all of those risks have the potential for a financial impact on your company. Paul Cho, managing director of Headway Capital, said that small business owners need to consider their long- and short-term risks to accurately plan for their financial future.

How will changes in minimum wage or health care requirements impact your workforce? Cho said. Do you operate in a geography at high risk of a natural disaster? Do you rely heavily on seasonal workers? Understanding the potential risks facing you on a short- and long-term basis is important for all small businesses. Once you ve mapped out the threats to productivity, a clearer picture can be built around emergency planning, insurance needs, etc.

Overestimate your expenses

If your business operates on a project-to-project basis, you know that every client is different and no two projects will turn out exactly the same. This means that often, you can t predict when something is going to go over budget.

Every project seems to have a one-time cost that was never anticipated, said James Ontra, CEO of presentation management company Shufflrr. It usually is that one unique extra item [that is] necessary to the job, but [was] not anticipated when bidding the job.

For this reason, Ontra advised budgeting slightly above your anticipated line-item costs, no matter what, so that if you do go over, you won t be fully unprepared.

I go by the cost-moon-stars theory, he said. If you think it will cost the moon, expect to pay the stars.

Pay attention to your sales cycle

Many businesses go through busy and slow periods over the course of the year. If your company has an off-season , you ll need to account for your expenses during that time. Cho also suggested using your slower periods to think of ways to plan ahead for your next sales boom.

There is much to be learned from your sales cycles, he said. Use your downtime to ramp up your marketing efforts while preventing profit generation from screeching to a halt. In order to keep your company thriving and the revenue coming in, you will have to identify how to market to your customers in new and creative ways.

Plan for large purchases carefully and early

Some large business expenses occur when you least expect them a piece of equipment breaks and needs to be replaced or your delivery van needs a costly repair, for instance. However, planned expenses like store renovations or a new software system should be carefully timed and budgeted to avoid a huge financial burden on your business.

Substantial business changes need to be timed carefully, balancing the risk with the reward and done with a full understanding of the financial landscape you re operating within, Cho told Business News Daily. An up-to-date budget and data-driven financial projections are important components that help guide when to make large investments in your business.

Remember that time is money, too

One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is forgetting to incorporate their time into a budget plan. Ontra reminded business owners that time is money, especially when working with people who are paid for their time.

Timing underestimation directly increases costs, Ontra said. For us, the biggest underestimation is allotting time for client feedback. It is a Herculean effort sometimes to meet a deadline with lots of people focused on a single task. Then, the client needs to give feedback for us to proceed. If the client is distracted with other issues, feedback planned for a three-day turnaround, can become a week or longer. Not only do you start to lose time to the delivery schedule, your team also loses momentum as their collective thought shifts focus to another project.

Ontra recommended treating your time like your money, and set external deadlines later than when you think the project will actually be done.

If you believe the project will finish on Friday, promise delivery on Monday, he said. So, if you finish on Friday, deliver the work early and become a star. If for some reason time runs over, deliver on Monday and you are still a success.

Constantly revisit your budget

Your budget will never be static or consistent it will change and evolve along with your business, and you ll need to keep adjusting it based on your growth and profit patterns. Cho suggested revising your monthly and annual budgets regularly to get a clearer, updated picture of your business finances.

Regularly revisiting your budget will help you better control financial decisions because you will know exactly what you can afford to spend versus how much you are projecting to make, Cho said. Take into account market trends from the previous year to help you determine what this year may look like. Once you have a clear understanding of your business s budgetary needs, you can accurately forecast what can be set aside for an emergency fund or unexpected costs.

Nicole Fallon Taylor

Nicole received her Bachelor s degree in Media, Culture and Communication from New York University. She began freelancing for Business News Daily in 2010 and joined the team as a staff writer three years later. She currently serves as the assistant editor. Reach her by email. or follow her on Twitter .

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  • 6 Business Icons Who Made TIME Person of the Year #easy #business #ideas


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    TIME has dedicated one issue to the “Person of the Year. ” The award, which is “bestowed to those who have, for good or for ill, most influenced the news and our lives in the past year,” has gone to politicians, scientists, humanitarians and entrepreneurs. Click through to see the business icons who have graced the magazine’s famous cover over the years.

    1928 – Walter Chrysler

    Before starting what would become one of the largest automotive manufacturers in the United States, Walter Chrysler worked as a railroad mechanic and locomotive machinist in West Texas. After serving as the head of Buick for three years, Chrysler was tapped to turn around the failing Willys-Overland Motor Company in Flint, Michigan. The now defunct company would become the automaker known today as Chrysler. Two years after being awarded Person of the Year, Chrysler financed the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York City, all with his personal fortune. The building stood as the tallest in the world for 11 months, when the Empire State Building surpassed it. Upon his death in 1938, Chrysler’s estate was worth roughly $8.9 million dollars – almost $150 million by today’s standards.

    1955 – Harlow Curtis

    In 1914, Harlow Curtis, the son of a fruit vendor in rural Michigan, responded to a newspaper ad for a bookkeeper position at the AC Spark Plug Company in Flint, Michigan. Following 15 years of service at AC, Curtis was named president of the spark plug company. According to GM’s online history portal. Curtis worked his way up the Detroit-ranks, landed a position at Buick and eventually became president of the highly profitable GM branch. In 1953, Curtis was named president of General Motors, and at his helm became the first American company to reach $1 billion in profits. A year later, TIME named Curtis “Man of the Year” in recognition of this achievement.

    1991 – Ted Turner

    Now a household name and waiting room fixture nationwide, CNN had plenty of skeptics when Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour news network in 1980. Built on the foundations Turner had put into place as the head of his father’s advertising firm and as the owner of the Atlanta Hawks basketball team, Turner changed news from a once-daily occurrence to a never-ending cycle. As of 2010, CNN was streaming to 100 million American households and another 98 million satellite subscribers throughout the world. Turner is worth $2.2 billion, according to Forbes . making him one of the wealthiest men in the country. The wealthy conglomerate extends beyond media, too. Ted’s Montana Grill serves up western-inspired food sourced from Turner’s bison located on ranches throughout the west and abroad.

    1997 – Andrew Grove

    As he proclaims in his book, “Only the paranoid survive.” This is the driving principle that has made Andrew Grove so insanely successful. Born in Hungary, Grove escaped communism to finish his education, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York and a Ph. D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Grove was a pioneer the burgeoning semi-conductor industry. Once at the helm of Intel, Grove revolutionized the company into the highest valued computer chip maker in the world today. Under Groves leadership, Intel saw an increase in revenue from $1.9 million in 1987 to an astonishing $26.27 billion in 1998. Steve Jobs idolized Grove, seeking his advice when considering a return to Apple as CEO. In 1997, a year before Grove relinquished his title of CEO, Grove was awarded “Person of the Year ” on the 50th anniversary of the invention of the transistor.

    1999 – Jeff Bezos

    The e-commerce pioneer is most well known for his establishment of Amazon as an Internet commerce icon. Originally a source for books, Amazon had expanded to almost everything by 1999 when Jeff Bezos was awarded “Person of the Year.” Born to a teenage mother, Bezos was technologically adept from a young age, tinkering in his parents’ garage. In 2013, Amazon reported net revenue of $74.5 billion and employed over 132,000. Alexa, the domain ranking service, credits Amazon as the seventh most-visited website in the world. Since his recognition, Bezos has been up to quite a bit. In addition to his continued innovations at Amazon (did someone say drones ?), he acquired The Washington Post from longtime owners, the Graham family. Bezos is betting on his knack for web innovation to bring the publication into the digital age.

    2010 – Mark Zuckerberg

    The same year as he was hailed as TIME’s “Person of the Year “, The Social Network film sealed Mark Zuckerberg ‘s place as an American demagogue, next to the likes of Steve Jobs and others. In a Harvard dorm room, Zuckerberg and friends created what would become Facebook. The website spawned an entire social networking industry. Facebook’s massive $5 billion IPO, the third largest in history, would increase Zuckerberg’s wealth to about $33.1 billion, according to Forbes . making him No. 16 on the list of wealthiest Americans. His wealth makes him part of an elite club – one of three people with more billions than they have years of age. As of September, Facebook boasted 864 million daily active users .


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    6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs #start #a #business


    #business tips

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    6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneur, content marketer, online educator

    Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat. Sacrifice, hard work and an unwavering determination for achieving greatness are required. So is surviving your mistakes — because they will happen.

    At CreativeLive, I ve always strived to learn from my own mistakes and to gain powerful insights from those who have successfully gone down the path before me. That s why I reached out to six top entrepreneurs, writers and CEOs I ve admired for years.

    I asked each of them to share with me, in a selfie-style video clip, their single most impactful piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs. Those interviewees included:

    • Chase Jarvis. the prolific photographer and CEO at CreativeLive, who s on a mission to revolutionize the way the world learns
    • Jon Acuff. the best-selling author of five books designed to teach how to find and create meaningful work
    • Sophia Amoruso. the founder of NastyGal and the best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS. who launched one of the fastest-growing retail brands in recent history
    • Lewis Howes. the best-selling author, lifestyle entrepreneur and podcast host, who s interviewed more than 200 influential entrepreneurs on how to achieve greatness
    • Nir Eyal. the best-selling author, entrepreneur and speaker, who s pioneering the psychology behind creating habit-forming products
    • Guy Kawasaki. the entrepreneur, investor and former chief evangelist at Apple, who s helped dozens of well-known startups launch with a bang

    Here s what each had to say:

    Just about any and all business owners who have created a sustainable self-employed career will tell you that they wouldn t have achieved their goals without guidance from others. They re not afraid to ask for help. In fact, most of them are successful in a large part, because they ve surrounded themselves with trusted advisors. mentors and industry experts.

    Here s more from these top entrepreneurs on how they ve risen to success in the world of business.

    1. Chase Jarvis, CEO at CreativeLive

    Image credit: Chase Jarvis

    Scratch your own itch.

    After becoming one of the world s best-known photographers at a relatively young age, Chase went on to found CreativeLive. the world s largest live-streaming education company. He credits much of his success to following his passions and pursuing only the opportunities that he s genuinely interested in.

    Jarvis: Go after solving a problem that you have. Something that s near and dear to you, not some random market opportunity. Because, when things get hard, if you re chasing just the dollars, or a random market opportunity, you re not going to be able to have the fortitude, the passion, to stay with it.

    2. Jon Acuff, New York Times best-selling author of Do Over

    Image credit: Jon Acuff

    Success takes hustle.

    Acuff, the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over . set out early on in his career to pursue at all costs only meaningful work. For him, that meant 16 long years of being hired and fired, before eventually finding his dream job and launching his self-employed career as a writer, speaker and brand consultant.

    Accomplishing his dream of working for himself took a lot of hard work, focus and hustle.

    Acuff: Hustle is an act of focus, not frenzy. Hustle is about subtraction and addition. It s not about doing more, it s about focusing on the things you need to do, in order to move your business forward.

    3. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, author of #GIRLBOSS

    Image credit: sophia amoruso

    Don t give up, don t take anything personally, and don t take no for an answer.

    Since founding Nasty Gal. in 2006, as an eBay store selling vintage clothing, Amoruso has transformed the business into a multi-million dollar empire with its own clothing line, which was named the Fastest Growing Retailer in 2012. Recently, TheNew York Times best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS has stepped out of her role as the CEO of Nasty Gal to become the executive chairman and to oversee the creative and brand marketing functions of the business.

    Without any fashion or business experience before starting Nasty Gal, Amoruso credits much of her hard-earned success to her refusal to accept failure as an option.

    Amoruso: The people who told me no were the people who eventually told me yes.

    4. Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness

    Image credit: Lewis Howes

    Follow your heart.

    Howes, The New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness , and host of the podcast bearing the same name, is a professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur. After suffering a debilitating injury on the field, Howes faced the fact that his football career was finished. Overnight, he lost his ability to do what he was passionate about, and was forced to discover a new way to live with purpose. Today, he s a writer, speaker and online educator who teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their online businesses .

    5. Nir Eyal, author of Hooked

    Image credit: Nir Eyal

    Certainty is more dangerous than ignorance.

    Eyal, the author of the Wall Street Journal best seller, Hooked . has become the authority on how to build habit-forming products. After years of research and experience in the video game and advertising industries, Eyal is a sought-after writer, speaker and educator on the psychology behind what motivates consumer engagement.

    Eyal: It s up to us as entrepreneurs, to see the world as it should be –not necessarily how it is. When you think you re sure of the way things are, that s when you get passed up and you don t see the opportunities that real entrepreneurs envision.

    6. Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, author of The Art of the Start 2.0

    Image credit: Guy Kawasaki

    Focus on the prototype.

    Kawasaki, the former chief evangelist of Apple, is an immensely successful marketing executive, investor and author of 13 books including The Art of the Start 2.0 . Over the years, he s helped dozens of well-known companies take their products from concept to market dominance.

    His formula for replicating startup success? Focusing only on the activities that drive positive results for your business.

    Kawasaki: If you get a prototype out and you get enough people using it, you never have to write a business plan. A prototype is where you separate the BS from the reality.


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    Bmw l #bmw, #bmw #france, #bmw #série #1 #trois #portes, #bmw #série #1 #cinq

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    EN MISSION.

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    NOUVELLE BMW i3 +EDITION. À PARTIR DE 330€/MOIS SANS APPORT.

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    LA BÊTE OU LA BELLE ?

    Sur les BMW Série 1, BMW Série 2 Active Tourer et Gran Tourer et BMW X1, découvrez des finitions suréquipées taillées sur mesure pour refléter votre personnalité. fonçeuse et athlétique en finition M Sport, élégante et raffinée en finition UrbanChic, Luxury ou xLine. À vous de choisir. la Bête ou la Belle ?

    NOUVELLES BMW SÉRIE 4.

    La sportivité associée à une esthétique époustouflante. les BMW Série 4 Coupé, Gran Coupé et Cabriolet représentent la quintessence du plaisir de conduire par BMW. La BMW Série 4 Coupé se distingue par son esthétique expressive et sa dynamique sportive, tandis que la BMW Série 4 Gran Coupé associe une esthétique fascinante à une grande polyvalence grâce à son système de hayon. Enfin, la BMW Série 4 Cabriolet, grâce à son toit rigide rétractable, promet des sensations uniques quelle que soit la saison.

    OFFRES DE LOYER.

    Découvrez les offres exceptionnelles de financement BMW. Loyers sans apport, entretien et extension de garantie inclus.

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    6 Reasons to Get a BSN – Nursing Link #how #to #get #a #rn

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    6 Reasons to Get a BSN

    Featured Author:

    Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN

    Jennifer L.W. Fink, RN, BSN. is a Registered Nurse who has been writing professionally for over 10 years. As a med-surg and transplant nurse, she worked hard to develop a rapport with her patients, to teach them according to their needs and to provide them with information and options. Today, she uses those same skills in her writing career. She is very interested in professional issues in nursing. Follow Jennifer on Facebook and Twitter .

    More articles from this author:

    Jennifer Fink | NursingLink

    Thinking of getting a nursing degree – or advancing your nursing education? Sign up for a BSN program! While the nursing profession has debated the minimum degree for entry into the profession for years (the American Nurses Association first recommended the baccalaureate degree as the minimum preparation for the beginning professional nursing practice in 1965), there are still multiple paths to a nursing career, including LPN. ADN. diploma and BSN programs. But the writing is on the wall. As healthcare has become increasingly complex, healthcare and government agencies are stepping up the call for BSN -prepared nurses.

    Still not convinced? Take a look at these six reasons to get a BSN .

    #1: BSN in 10

    In 2008, the American Nurses Association passed a resolution which recommended that all RNs who graduate from an ADN – or diploma-program be required to obtain a BSN within 10 years of licensure. The move respects many nurses desire to get into the workforce as quickly as possible, and preserves ADN and diploma-degrees as acceptable avenues into the nursing profession. But the resolution – which was quickly dubbed BSN in 10 – also acknowledges the need for highly educated professionals who are adept at critical thinking and research.

    As of 2010, at least 18 states. including New York, New Jersey, were considering BSN in 10 legislation. And while both the ANA resolution and the state proposals grandfather in current nurses, do you really want to be left behind?

    Next: BSN by 2020


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    6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas #best #business #phone


    #unique business ideas

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    6 Weird But Successful Small Business Ideas

    Tough economic times can inspire a lot of creativity when it comes to new business ideas. For example, though a recession was in full-swing, 2010 saw the highest rate of entrepreneurial activity in decades, according to the Kaufman Foundation .

    But it seems counter-intuitive. After all, starting a new business is incredibly risky. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA). over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years, and of those that make it, another 50% fail in the next few years.

    Those aren t good odds for anyone. But when times are bad, sometimes things can t get much worse especially for people who ve lost their jobs and perhaps even their homes. So the prospect of starting a new business just isn t as risky as it might otherwise be. Moreover, for many people, creating their own job becomes their only option.

    Though, there are plenty of jobs that are considered recession proof, such as plumbers, morticians, accountants, and grocers, there are also plenty of weird and wacky new business ventures that have thrived in a down economy. These businesses might make your eyes widen with disbelief. I know mine sure did when I found out about them!

    So what are some weird and wacky businesses people have started?

    Weird Wacky Small Business Ideas

    1. Bed Bug Barrier

    If you ve ever been to a hostel or hotel infested with bed bugs, then you know how terrible those little mites can be.

    Well, Tony Abrams made a fortune by inventing barriers to keep the bedbugs from biting. His business, Bed Bug Barriers. creates and sells barriers that go underneath the legs of a bed. These barriers trap the bedbugs as they attempt to crawl into the bed to bite sleepers.

    Think it s crazy? He s made millions with this idea.

    2. Rent-A-Chicken

    I know what you re asking: why on earth would someone want to rent a chicken?

    Well, some people who are interested in urban farming want to get chickens. However, that s a big step. What if they don t like caring for chickens? Then, they re stuck with a coop and several chickens they don t want.

    This is where Rent-A-Chicken comes in. This husband and wife team in Traverse City, MI will bring you everything you need to care for a brood of hens for the summer. For $250, you can see whether or not you really want to try raising chickens on your own. In fact, there s another business just like this in Australia called Rent-A-Chook .

    Wacky? Yes. Useful? You bet.

    3. Hangover Helpers

    Here s the situation: You and your friends were up all night partying. Now, you re suffering from a horrendous hangover, you re dehydrated, and your apartment is trashed. The thought of having to make yourself something to eat and then clean up that colossal mess is just too much to handle.

    So what do you do? You call the Hangover Helpers. These two college guys in Boulder, CO help their hung over clients crawl back into the land of the living with as little pain as possible. The guys show up at your house armed with a breakfast burrito and Gatorade for you. They then clean every room where the party happened. This includes cleaning dishes, pots, and pans, and recycling all of your beer bottles.

    Think this idea is too crazy to actually work? These guys have already been featured in Forbes Magazine, on CBS, and on the talk show, Regis and Kelly. They have enough business to keep them busy as long as they want.

    4. The Smashing Place

    Have you ever intentionally broken a plate? I m talking about when you re stressed or angry, and you just hurl the thing across the room and watch with a real sense of pleasure as it smashes against the wall. Feels pretty good, right? You might even feel the stress or anger leak right out of you.

    Well, that s the whole idea behind The Smashing Place. This business, located in Tokyo, allows clients to come in, buy a plate or a cup of their choice, and smash it against a concrete wall. They can swear, stomp their feet, or do anything else they want to relieve stress. I have a feeling a business like this would really take off in a place like New York.

    5. I Do, Now I Don t

    When Josh Opperman s fiancée left him after a three-month engagement, he was crushed. All she left him was the fancy engagement ring he d worked so hard to save up for. However, when he took the ring back to the jeweler to return it, he got a nasty shock. They only offered him $3,500 for the ring he paid over $10,000 for. Yikes.

    So he started I Do, Now I Don t to get even. I Do, Now I Don t is a website that allows people to sell their engagement rings (or any other fancy jewelry) to other users for way less than going to a jewelry store. Think of it as the Craigslist for fine jewelry.

    The site has been an incredible success and has been featured on CNN, The Today Show, Fox News, and in The New York Times.

    6. The Pet Loo

    If you ve ever had a pet while living in an apartment, then you know how painful it can be to take them out for potty when it s 10 degrees with a fierce wind. Or maybe you work long hours and always have to rush home to let them out. Or maybe you re a senior citizen and it s hard to make multiple trips in and out of your home.

    Well, all these reasons are why The Pet Loo was invented. The Pet Loo is a square of fake grass, which sits atop a simple waste containment system that you put inside your home or apartment. It s just like a mini-backyard where your dog can relieve himself. Although The Pet Loo is based in Australia, similar businesses have sprung up here in the States. Good idea? No doubt.

    In fact, people are putting their Pet Loos in their laundry rooms, their basements, on balconies, and even in their grass-less backyards.

    The Take-Away

    So these are six strange businesses that worked, but what can you take away from them? Well, if you re thinking about starting a business, don t go for weird just because it worked for others. That s a sure way to fail. The key to all these unusual businesses is that satisfy a need, even if many people don t realize they have that need (like with the Tokyo business, The Smashing Place).

    This highlights a vital element that can t be overstated; every successful business needs to provide value to people in some way.

    1. Get Inspired
    For unique business ideas. look at your own life. Successful businesses are often started when the inventor or owner is annoyed by an unmet need they have.

    For example, what chores annoy you the most? Are there things that frustrate you on a daily or weekly basis? Often, simple questions like these can offer important insights to solid business ideas. You also might get some inspiration from these 18 side businesses you can start today .

    2. Write It Down
    Next, write out several ideas and resist the temptation to just go with your first one. I ve been an entrepreneur for almost ten years now and had early business ideas that would ve failed had I not kept on brainstorming and analyzing them.

    In fact, largely due to this process, the first business I started was a great success. So invest the time to brainstorm and think through several ideas.

    Additionally, make sure you find your nearest SCORE chapter. This nonprofit organization is an incredible resource that could very well make the difference between success and failure, especially if you have little or no business experience.

    Final Word

    Starting a business is rarely easy, but it s a lot easier when you re doing something fun or something you care deeply about. I ve been involved in several businesses and had a blast creating every one of them.

    Have you ever had a weird or wacky business idea that you moved forward with? How did it turn out?


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    The 6 Best Advertising Strategies For Small Business #getting #a #business #loan


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    The 6 Best Advertising Strategies For Small Business

    Small business owners need to be realistic about their advertising campaigns. Typically, of course, they ll be looking for effective, low-cost solutions, but typically, too, you can have just one or the other; you re unlikely to find a simultaneously effective and inexpensive channel for your ads.

    That s why you absolutely must budget for advertising, not just play with the money you have left over. By assigning the right amount of money to the right channels, you can get the results you want, or at the least, improve the results you have, based on the data you gather along the way. Since your monthly spend will be consistent, you ll be better able to measure overall efficacy, too.

    Given your need to optimize your advertising efforts, then, here are the best advertising strategies for small businesses.

    1. Target your audience.

    Sorry, but that particular product or service you re touting does not match the needs of anyone who currently walks the Earth. Many small businesses don t run adequately targeted campaigns, despite the fact that targeting is one of online advertising s primary advantages.

    Indeed, you should be able to create an accurate target customer profile based on the data you ve collected. With this information in hand, and what you know about your current clientele, you can begin to target similar demographics and psychographics with your campaigns to attract more customers.

    Whether you re advertising online or off, make sure your copy and imagery reflects the kind of customers you want to work with. This is key to targeting well.

    2. Measure and track your advertising.

    Many small businesses simply have no idea whether their advertising is actually working. This simply won t do.

    Online advertising platforms like Google AdWords and Facebook provide you with extensive stats related to your ads, and will help you determine what is working and what isn t. This doesn t mean that you won t need to test and experiment, as it can take time for you to create an ad that resonates with your target customers, but it does mean that you can make faster decisions about what to try next.

    If you re advertising offline, and you have to set up a specific email address or phone number to gain a clearer understanding of how your leads are finding you and what s working, then that effort is worth the hassle. Stop making guesses.

    3. Know when to advertise.

    At first glance, advertising year-round and spreading out your budget equally month-to-month may appear to be a wise and commonsense approach.

    But if you think back to your business launch, odds are you did a lot of things that can t be scaled. There s no way for you to sustain a similar marketing and advertising initiative throughout the entire year.

    If you sell seasonal products, you should be advertising in your highest-performing seasons. You may even want to start a little bit early and hold some of your advertising until a little after.

    Black Friday and Christmas tend to be high-performing seasons, depending on the type of business you re running. It may be advantageous to set aside some extra ad money for these days and/or other holidays.

    Finally, it can also be worthwhile to keep an eye on when your competitors launch their own big promotions. If you have an advertising budget set aside, you may be able to keep pace or even outmaneuver them.

    4. Brand well.

    Can your customers immediately identify your ads based on your copy, color choice, imagery, logo or typeface? If that question seems absurd, just look at what the major brands and companies are doing. Oftentimes, you can recognize their ads just from the colors they re using.

    Over time, your customers will come to identify with and respond to your ad layouts. The temptation may be to change your branding every time you create a new ad, but that could be confusing and ineffective over the long haul. Your goal should be to show up in expected places, with familiar-looking ads that consistently resonate with your target customers.

    Bottom line: Brand well, and stick to your image. Build loyalty through resonance.

    5. Use your resources well.

    You know the importance of ranking well in search, but you may simply not have the resources and time to consistently create new, informative content for your website.

    In an instance like that, your best bet is to take advantage of services like Google AdWords and Bing Ads, so you appear higher in SERP results without having to optimize posts for your chosen keywords. If you have the budget to advertise, but not the time to create content, this is a good use of resources.

    If you only have a small budget to allocate to advertising, it may not make sense to take out an expensive magazine ad. A Facebook ad campaign would be much more practical, since you can control your daily spend.

    Make an honest assessment of the resources available to you, and leverage them in a way that helps you grow your business.

    6. Show up in the right places.

    It s dangerous to make too many assumptions about your target customer. For example, if there s a certain radio show that you like, and you assume that your customers like it too, you may be misinformed about the wisdom of spending money on a radio ad there that could prove expensive and ineffective.

    If your advertising dollars are going to the wrong place, you re wasting your money. Instead, you need to get to know your customers. So, survey them. Get a sense of where they like to hang out online, what books and magazines they read, what podcast and radio shows they listen to and so on.

    When your advertising is matched with the right understanding of your customers, you ll begin to attract more worthwhile leads to your business.

    Final thoughts

    There are plenty of opportunities to monetize through advertising. The key is in knowing who your target customers are, where they like to hang out — and thus where to find more people like them — and allocating your resources to those specific channels.

    Advertising is not set-and-forget. You need to be strategic in the way you approach it, and amplify your marketing at the right times.


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    6 Reasons Why a Website is Important for your Business #business #hosting


    #business website

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    6 Reasons Why a Website is Important for your Business

    A simple question, What is a website? In its bare form, a website is a single domain that consists of different web pages. We should all know that by now, but surprisingly what we don t all know, is the benefits a website can provide for your business and its shocking to witness how many business don t actually have a website or online presence!

    If you have a business and don’t have a website, you are losing out on great opportunities for your business. A website itself can be used to accomplish many different marketing strategies to help your business grow.

    As a business owner, you need to know where your consumers are. But what if consumers know your business and what you can offer, but they can’t reach you? That is one of the risks you take by not having a website for your business.

    What are some other benefits of having a business website?

    Cost Effective
    You know exactly how much your website is going to cost you and it s ongoings a brick and mortar store, on the other hand, is susceptible to many out of the ordinary occurrences which could blow out the costs such as leaving the lights on, theft, damage, extra staff etc.

    A strategically developed website and online presence solution provides tremendous benefits and costing outlines.

    Accessible around the clock
    Your website and social media accounts are accessible 24/7/365. Imagine that you want to buy from a store. You put in all the effort required to go to the store, but when you get there, it s closed. We all know how irate we feel in that situation. You ll think twice about going back given the bad taste its left (ok might have been your fault for not checking but hey, this is proving the point here!). You will just find another store that is more easily accessible.

    Since your website is operational around the clock, from the convenience of the local coffee shop, their couch or their bed, your customers and clients can easily access your website and services.

    Convenient
    What is more convenient: driving outside to look for different stores that are available to shop in, or sitting in the comfort of your own home and shopping for the products you re looking for? Pretty obvious answer, unless you like aimlessly driving around. Smart businesses realise this and thus have their own website housing their products and services so that potential customers can browse online for the products they want to purchase.

    Credibility
    By building a website you are giving your business the opportunity to tell consumers why they should trust you and the testimonials and facts to back up those opportunities. Believe it or not, most people will search the internet for a product or service before the purchase to check the credibility first. When you provide good service or product, positive word-of-mouth about your business is likely to spread. Which in turn, delivers more repeat and new business.

    People tend to trust a business after they have done business with it. Using your website, you can continuously serve consumers online and increase your credibility as a business owner.

    Sales
    Without sales, or selling more than you spend, your business is doomed. By having an online presence you allow for the sale of your products or services around the clock to whoever whenever with no or hardly any limitations; Unless you run out of stock or overworked, but that s a good problem to have right! Giving your business the online presence it deserves is crucial to your brand and accountants smile.

    In short, being visible worldwide means you are very likely to gain more customers. The more customers and visitors you have, the more sales you will generate. The more sales you generate the happier you and your shareholders will be!

    Marketing
    Having a website and online presence strategy allows you to market your business online. There are lots of marketing strategies you can use to advertise and market your business. All online marketing strategies have been proven to be effective. Which ones you choose depends on the type of business you are in. Speak to us to see which are best for your business.

    Bottom Line
    It is imperative for every business to have a website. The more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain. Feel free to let us know your thoughts by commenting on our Facebook Page .

    You might also want to check out our services page. Let us help you develop an effective website solution for your business, tailored to honing in on your prospective clients.


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    6 Great Sources for Cheap and Beautiful Business Cards You Can Print #memphis #business

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    If you’re a freelancer or you run a small business, you know that having a great is a valuable asset. However, when you’re just starting out, printing business cards can seem a little out of reach pricewise. It doesn’t have to be like that though. These days, there are dozens of low-cost printers who will do a print run of a modest amount of cards for you. All you need to do is choose your card style, add your details and put in your order.

    There are even places who offer a free trial for your first batch of cards, online business cards to give you a stylish virtual presence and a great deal of variety for printed cards if you’re willing to pay a little. Check out these great options for cheap business cards that we found!

    1. VistaPrint

    VistaPrint have patented a way to do small runs of business cards cost effectively, thus allowing them to offer cards at a very cheap rate (normally £17.99 for 250 cards). In order to let you try them out, they also offer a 250-card print run for free if you are a new customer (but you pay for shipping). You can’t beat that!

    If you’re taking up their free trial, they offer a decent range of designs to choose from and allow some personalisation. If you’re paying for a premium run, you can choose from thousands of designs, plus it’s possible to upload your logo and photos.

    2. Moo

    Moo has made quite a name for itself as a way of creating business cards from social media services like Facebook and Flickr. Moo specialise in creating unique cards for each customer, allowing everyone to design their own cards with their own photography and artwork or to work with templates. Moo also let you use different images on different cards, meaning that in a pack of 50 cards you can have different images on each one!

    We’ve previously reviewed Moo’s quality MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway MOO MiniCards Review and Giveaway Today, we’ll be taking a quick look at what MOO is all about and we placed several test orders with them to find out how great their print quality is. We’ll also be giving away. Read More. so we know it to be excellent. Business cards can be purchased for £10.99 for a pack of 50 and are offered in a variety of order sizes up to 600 cards for £101.97. If you want to check out Moo’s quality yourself, order a 10-card sample pack for free. It will be exactly like the premium product, but with a Moo logo printed on it as well.

    3. Business Card Star

    Using Business Card Star is more about the design process than anything. They allow users to design cards for printing at home, which is a real money-saver as you design and print your cards for free. Of course, they also offer a printing service with high quality cards, which will probably look more professional than the homemade variety.

    There are plenty of designs to choose from, plus it’s possible to add your own photos and logos. If you’re printing at home, they charge a fee of US$10 to save a PDF of cards with your own photos and logos on them. If you are having your cards printed by them there is no extra fee for using your own images. Print runs start at US$22.95 + shipping and can be shipped to the US or Canada.

    4. Business Card Land

    Business Card Land works in much the same way as Business Card Star, as you can download free PDFs of your business cards for home printing or order professional printing via Business Card Star. The design process and the choice of templates are different though, so it’s worth checking out if you want a little variety.

    5. Biz Card Creator

    Biz Card Creator is yet another free online business card design company, but it has a more limited selection of card styles available. However, if simplicity is your thing, it may be worth trying. They do not offer printing services – in fact, they send you back to VistaPrint if you’re looking to print your cards.

    6. Virtual Business Cards

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    6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs #owning #your #own #business


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    6 Best Business Tips from 6 Top Entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneur, content marketer, online educator

    Becoming a successful entrepreneur is no easy feat. Sacrifice, hard work and an unwavering determination for achieving greatness are required. So is surviving your mistakes — because they will happen.

    At CreativeLive, I ve always strived to learn from my own mistakes and to gain powerful insights from those who have successfully gone down the path before me. That s why I reached out to six top entrepreneurs, writers and CEOs I ve admired for years.

    I asked each of them to share with me, in a selfie-style video clip, their single most impactful piece of advice for fellow entrepreneurs. Those interviewees included:

    • Chase Jarvis. the prolific photographer and CEO at CreativeLive, who s on a mission to revolutionize the way the world learns
    • Jon Acuff. the best-selling author of five books designed to teach how to find and create meaningful work
    • Sophia Amoruso. the founder of NastyGal and the best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS. who launched one of the fastest-growing retail brands in recent history
    • Lewis Howes. the best-selling author, lifestyle entrepreneur and podcast host, who s interviewed more than 200 influential entrepreneurs on how to achieve greatness
    • Nir Eyal. the best-selling author, entrepreneur and speaker, who s pioneering the psychology behind creating habit-forming products
    • Guy Kawasaki. the entrepreneur, investor and former chief evangelist at Apple, who s helped dozens of well-known startups launch with a bang

    Here s what each had to say:

    Just about any and all business owners who have created a sustainable self-employed career will tell you that they wouldn t have achieved their goals without guidance from others. They re not afraid to ask for help. In fact, most of them are successful in a large part, because they ve surrounded themselves with trusted advisors. mentors and industry experts.

    Here s more from these top entrepreneurs on how they ve risen to success in the world of business.

    1. Chase Jarvis, CEO at CreativeLive

    Image credit: Chase Jarvis

    Scratch your own itch.

    After becoming one of the world s best-known photographers at a relatively young age, Chase went on to found CreativeLive. the world s largest live-streaming education company. He credits much of his success to following his passions and pursuing only the opportunities that he s genuinely interested in.

    Jarvis: Go after solving a problem that you have. Something that s near and dear to you, not some random market opportunity. Because, when things get hard, if you re chasing just the dollars, or a random market opportunity, you re not going to be able to have the fortitude, the passion, to stay with it.

    2. Jon Acuff, New York Times best-selling author of Do Over

    Image credit: Jon Acuff

    Success takes hustle.

    Acuff, the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including Do Over . set out early on in his career to pursue at all costs only meaningful work. For him, that meant 16 long years of being hired and fired, before eventually finding his dream job and launching his self-employed career as a writer, speaker and brand consultant.

    Accomplishing his dream of working for himself took a lot of hard work, focus and hustle.

    Acuff: Hustle is an act of focus, not frenzy. Hustle is about subtraction and addition. It s not about doing more, it s about focusing on the things you need to do, in order to move your business forward.

    3. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, author of #GIRLBOSS

    Image credit: sophia amoruso

    Don t give up, don t take anything personally, and don t take no for an answer.

    Since founding Nasty Gal. in 2006, as an eBay store selling vintage clothing, Amoruso has transformed the business into a multi-million dollar empire with its own clothing line, which was named the Fastest Growing Retailer in 2012. Recently, TheNew York Times best-selling author of #GIRLBOSS has stepped out of her role as the CEO of Nasty Gal to become the executive chairman and to oversee the creative and brand marketing functions of the business.

    Without any fashion or business experience before starting Nasty Gal, Amoruso credits much of her hard-earned success to her refusal to accept failure as an option.

    Amoruso: The people who told me no were the people who eventually told me yes.

    4. Lewis Howes, author of The School of Greatness

    Image credit: Lewis Howes

    Follow your heart.

    Howes, The New York Times best-selling author of The School of Greatness , and host of the podcast bearing the same name, is a professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur. After suffering a debilitating injury on the field, Howes faced the fact that his football career was finished. Overnight, he lost his ability to do what he was passionate about, and was forced to discover a new way to live with purpose. Today, he s a writer, speaker and online educator who teaches entrepreneurs how to grow their online businesses .

    5. Nir Eyal, author of Hooked

    Image credit: Nir Eyal

    Certainty is more dangerous than ignorance.

    Eyal, the author of the Wall Street Journal best seller, Hooked . has become the authority on how to build habit-forming products. After years of research and experience in the video game and advertising industries, Eyal is a sought-after writer, speaker and educator on the psychology behind what motivates consumer engagement.

    Eyal: It s up to us as entrepreneurs, to see the world as it should be –not necessarily how it is. When you think you re sure of the way things are, that s when you get passed up and you don t see the opportunities that real entrepreneurs envision.

    6. Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist of Canva, author of The Art of the Start 2.0

    Image credit: Guy Kawasaki

    Focus on the prototype.

    Kawasaki, the former chief evangelist of Apple, is an immensely successful marketing executive, investor and author of 13 books including The Art of the Start 2.0 . Over the years, he s helped dozens of well-known companies take their products from concept to market dominance.

    His formula for replicating startup success? Focusing only on the activities that drive positive results for your business.

    Kawasaki: If you get a prototype out and you get enough people using it, you never have to write a business plan. A prototype is where you separate the BS from the reality.


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